Inmaking decision when faced with ethical dilemma, there are severalprinciples that the leader will consider. This includes the legalaspects, individual principles and values and the culture and ethicalstandards of the organization. The decision should not be against thelaw or jeopardize the organization legally. Personal values andmorals, as well as ethical standards within the organization willalso be considered. Thus, thinking about the ethical dilemmacritically is essential to the leader before making a decision.
Theethical reasoning of the leader is mainly based on reason rather thanresult. The leader considers the law, personal principles and ethicsas well as the ethical standards in the organization in order todetermine whether the action is right of wrong. This means that theaction is wrong if it is against the law, personal principles or theethical standards in the organization (Wood, 2008). Therefore, evenin cases where the outcome of the action is bad, but it is within thelaw or guided by personal and organizational principles, the actionis considered to be ethical.
Theethical reasoning of the leader is based on the thinking of the 18thcentury theorist, Immanuel Kant. He introduced a deontologicalethical theory commonly referred to as Kantian ethics. He argued thatthere is an innate component of morality which makes it right orwrong, good or bad. Thus an action should be judged base on ‘duty’or the set rules and regulations rather that the utility orconsequences of the action. Thus, morals are unconditional based onobligations and universal rules and regulations. Kantian ethicsmaintains that ‘the end does not justify the means’. This meansthat individual actions are inherently good or bad, irrespective ofthe outcome. This is because while it is possible to control one’sactions, the consequences can not be controlled (Wood, 2008, Hill,2009).
Hill,T. (2009). TheBlackwell Guide to Kant`s Ethics.John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 9781405125819.
Wood,A. (2008). KantianEthics.Cambridge, Cambridge University Press.